Amaravati Buddhist Monastery Archives

Scope and Content

  • Minutes of board, teams and committees, 1985–
  • Miscellaneous other records, 1985-
  • Photos of monasteries, sangha, and monastery activities; c. 1950s-
  • Audio-visual material of sangha (dhamma talks, interviews)
  • Personal papers of key monastics

Administrative / Biographical History

Amaravati is a Theravada Buddhist monastery at the eastern end of the Chiltern Hills in south east England. Established in 1984 by Ajahn Sumedho as an extension of Chithurst Buddhist Monastery, the monastery has its roots in the Thai forest tradition. It takes inspiration from the teachings of the community's founder, the late Ajahn Chah. Its chief priorities are the training and support of a resident monastic community, and the facilitation for monastic and lay people alike of the practice of the Buddha's teachings.

Amaravati formally opened in 1985, the site having been purchased from Buckinghamshire County Council by the English Sangha Trust the year before. Its configuration of several large huts of Canadian cedar, built in extensive grounds for military purposes during World War II, had formerly been a residential school. A purpose-built temple was officially opened on 4 July 1999 by Princess Galyani Vadhana, sister of the King of Thailand. The monastery's founder and abbot for most of its existence has been Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Chah's foremost disciple in the West. In Autumn 2010 he handed over to the English monk Ajahn Amaro, who for the preceding 15 years had been co-abbot of Abhayagiri Monastery in Redwood Valley, California.

Arrangement

Arrangement is by Series, as follows:

  • EST/ABM/A Establishment and governance
  • EST/ABM/B Administration
  • EST/ABM/C Property and buildings
  • EST/ABM/D Sangha
  • EST/ABM/E Lay supporters
  • EST/ABM/F Educational activities
  • EST/ABM/G Publications
  • EST/ABM/H Special events
  • EST/ABM/J Library
  • EST/ABM/K Objects and art works
  • EST/ABM/L Audio and visual
  • EST/ABM/M Manuscripts and personal papers

Conditions Governing Access

There are some restrictions in place in relation to these records. Please contact the Archivist for more information.

Accruals

Further accurals expected.